These tender, flavorful baked meatballs have been a family and reader favorite for many years. Hundreds of readers have called them the best meatballs ever! Serve them with spaghetti and your favorite sauce, as an appetizer, in a meatball sandwich－or all by themselves. A perfect meal prep recipe that freezes well, too! Perhaps you are like me in this way: I have recipes everywhere…a shelfful of cookbooks, a box with recipe cards, and various pages torn from magazines, newspapers…and so many slips of scrap paper with my own hand-written notes that I scratch out as I create in the kitchen.
Amidst all the recipes, I return often to the gems given to me by my friend, Jen. Like me, Jen likes to experiment with new recipes and acquired many of her favorites from her grandmother. This meatball recipe reduces mess–and fat–by baking the meatballs instead of pan-frying. Parmesan and panko add great flavor and texture. Make them ahead and simmer with Basic Marinara sauce (your favorite store bought works, too) in a crock pot set on low. Or heat on the stove as you are boiling water for pasta.
A single recipe yields two dozen golfball-size meatballs. The recipe can easily be doubled and the baked meatballs freeze well. I made the batch pictured below with a friend. Meal prep is inherently rewarding–and so much more fun when chatting the whole time!
1 pound hamburger, grass-fed if possible
2 eggs, beaten with 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup panko or bread crumbs
1 small onion, minced or grated (1/2 a large onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil
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Double the batch and freeze half to serve later as mini meatloaves. Or reheat with sauce, top with cheese and make into a mean meatball sandwich.
Mix all ingredients with hands. Form into golfball sized meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
If you have a leftover piece of rind from the Parmesan, let it simmer in the crock pot with the marinara sauce or save for another soup recipe. This will add a great flavor boost to most any sauce or soup.